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New Phase I Standard ASTM E1527-21 Authorized for All Appropriate Inquiries Starting February 13, 2023

Environmental and Natural Resources

On December 15, 2022, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) issued a final rule authorizing ASTM E1527-21 as compliant with the all appropriate inquiries (“AAI”) provisions of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act. Effective February 13, 2023, ASTM E1527-21 may be used as the standard to meet AAI requirements.  

As you may recall, EPA previously issued a direct final rule authorizing use of ASTM E1527-21 for AAI purposes on March 14, 2022. The Agency, however, was forced to rescind this approval after receipt of adverse comments on the proposal that accompanied the direct final rule. While several of the adverse comments related to the ASTM standard itself, commenters also questioned EPA’s initial decision to continue to authorize the use of ASTM E1527–13 to meet AAI requirements. Among other things, commenters pointed to the benefits of using the updated ASTM standard as well as the potential for confusion in the marketplace if both standards could be used when conducting AAI. In response to these comments, EPA included in this final rule a one-year period in which both standards may be deemed AAI-compliant. This one-year period will allow users to complete any pending reviews that use the ASTM E1527–13 standard and to become more comfortable with ASTM E1527-21. However after February 13, 2024, the ASTM E1527-21 standard will be the only one authorized for AAI purposes.

For additional substantive discussion on the differences between the two standards and changes we can expect with broader implementation of ASTM E1527-21, please see our earlier publication

For more information on the EPA's final rule approving E1527-21, please contact your local Quarles & Brady attorney or:

  • Cindy Faur: (312) 715-5228 / cynthia.faur@quarles.com
  • Lauren Harpke: (414) 277-5183 / lauren.harpke@quarles.com
  • Jeremy Lite: (602) 229-5739 / jeremy.lite@quarles.com
  • George Marek: (414) 277-5537 / george.marek@quarles.com
  • Michael Mostow: (312) 715-5158 / michael.mostow@quarles.com

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